Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares


by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Watson was more than impressive against Alabama in the title game
Watson was more than impressive against Alabama in the title game

Kirby Smart still has nightmares about Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Smart was hired as the head coach at the University of Georgia in early December, but Alabama’s former defensive coordinator juggled both duties as the Crimson Tide prepared to take on Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship in early January.

Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 that night in Glendale, but Watson shredded the Crimson Tide’s vaunted defense. Watson almost single-handedly ruined the final game coached by Smart under ‘Bama head coach Nick Saban.

Heading into the contest, many national analysts suggested that Watson would have to have a Vince Young-esque performance if the Tigers were to knock off Alabama.

Watson wasn't quite Vince Young vs. Southern Cal in 2006, but he still produced that type of special performance. Watson accounted for 478 of Clemson's 550 yards (405 passing and 73 rushing), making Alabama’s defense look out of shape and winded as they chased the super sophomore across the grass at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“We thought, to be honest with you, that we could do a better job against their quarterback than what we did,” Saban said after the game. “He did a fantastic job in the game. We didn't cover as well as we're capable of, and we weren't able to handle him up front with our rushers.”

In an interview on 680 The Fan (WCNN in Atlanta), Smart said thinking about Watson still gives him nightmares.

“Do I have to think back to that? A lot of bad flashbacks. That’s a nightmare,” Smart said. “First of all, I have a lot of respect for him as a person. He’s a great leader and a great person. What a great ambassador for Clemson he is and what a great player. Nobody respects him as a passer like they should. I saw him – all through high school – pass the ball.”

Smart hinted that while most people see Watson as a runner who can sometimes throw the ball, he knew Watson was a passer. He was surprised at Watson’s elusiveness.

“I knew he was a good passer. What I didn’t recognize was that he is as skillful running it as he is, getting out of trouble and being elusive,” Smart said. “We really had a great defensive front, and we struggled to get the guy on the ground. We couldn’t finish on the quarterback, which was a problem. And he created that by making throws. More credit to him.”

Smart finished by saying that he gives Watson a perfect score in the poise department.

“A 10 in poise,” he said. “And that’s the number one thing when you play a really great defense is not to get frustrated. He never did.”


Comment on this story

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment Post your comments!
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Former Clemson LB gets high school jersey retired
Former Clemson LB gets high school jersey retired
In-state RB visiting Clemson Saturday
In-state RB visiting Clemson Saturday
WATCH: Behind the Scenes with Clemson Football
WATCH: Behind the Scenes with Clemson Football
Clemson signees see shifts in final Rivals rankings
Clemson signees see shifts in final Rivals rankings
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 32) Author
spacer New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
TigerNet News
spacer greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
ClemsonSCTiger
spacer Atleast we have a solid kicker. We should have a lot
The hillbilly beater®
spacer Re: Atleast we have a solid kicker. We should have a lot
ths2000
spacer Tf are you talking about? I think you replied to the wrong
The hillbilly beater®
spacer Re: Atleast we have a solid kicker. We should have a lot
clemsontiger2002
spacer Re: greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
bbanks4cu
spacer Re: greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
bbanks4cu
spacer Re: greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
bbanks4cu
spacer Re: greaaaaat. Our special teams gives
bbanks4cu
spacer Re: New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
tigersincepell®
spacer We better enjoy this last season with Watson.
Bleedorange09
spacer Re: We better enjoy this last season with Watson.
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: We better enjoy this last season with Watson.
clemson7024
spacer "Most people see Watson as a runner who can sometimes throw"
Drobins
spacer He's actually right. Most people that don't follow Clemson
TigersAndCubs
spacer Re: He's actually right. Most people that don't follow Clemson
Tigerdug23®
spacer Re: He's actually right. Most people that don't follow Clemson
edmaddict09
spacer Re: "Most people see Watson as a runner who can sometimes throw"
clemsontiger2002
spacer If only Mack hadn't went down. UGH!***
Completely Solid Orange®
spacer Re: If only Mack hadn't went down. UGH!***
calitiger
spacer That one thing cost us the game. Without the two
Completely Solid Orange®
spacer Re: If only Mack hadn't went down. UGH!***
Thecatch2
spacer His poise reminds me of Warren Moon moreso than Cam***
Tickled Orange
spacer He reminds me of Montana
SCTEXAN
spacer I can't argue with that. He has Montana's cool and his
Tickled Orange
spacer Re: New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer allowing 24 points for bama in the 4th is still giving
tgrfan42069
spacer Re: New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
CinTiger1
spacer Re: New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
marklee
spacer Im going to have nightmares after next season when it finally hits me we wont have Watson anymore!***
clemson7024
spacer Re: New Story: Deshaun Watson still gives Kirby Smart nightmares
reynolds357
Built to last: Swinney says his Tigers have staying power
Built to last: Swinney says his Tigers have staying power
Former Clemson LB gets high school jersey retired
Former Clemson LB gets high school jersey retired
WATCH: Behind the Scenes with Clemson Football
WATCH: Behind the Scenes with Clemson Football
Clemson signees see shifts in final Rivals rankings
Clemson signees see shifts in final Rivals rankings
Clemson DB added to Senior Bowl roster
Clemson DB added to Senior Bowl roster
As Saban overhauls his staff, Clemson's continuity is the standard: Don't mess with happy
As Saban overhauls his staff, Clemson's continuity is the standard: Don't mess with happy
WATCH: Trevor Lawrence official highlights
WATCH: Trevor Lawrence official highlights
WATCH: Former Clemson DT story featured in Super Bowl ad campaign
WATCH: Former Clemson DT story featured in Super Bowl ad campaign
Mel Kiper says Trevor Lawrence clear-cut No. 1 NFL pick, 'super elite'
Mel Kiper says Trevor Lawrence clear-cut No. 1 NFL pick, 'super elite'
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest